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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Rhode Island

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 8, 2020

High School Student Charged with Coercion and Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

PROVIDENCE – An 18-year-old Providence high school student has been charged in U.S. District Court in Providence with allegedly coercing a 10-year-old Utah girl to disrobe and engage in sexually explicit conduct in front of a live online camera.

It is alleged in court documents that Akinola Akinlapa, with the online user name of Melissa#7384, messaged and provided a 10-year-old girl with a link to what he told her was an online children’s gaming platform. After that link and a second link allegedly sent to the girl by Akinlapa opened to blank pages, a video call was initiated between the two.

 It is alleged that Akinlapa told the young girl that the links she had clicked transmitted a virus to her computer and that her personal information had been taken from the computer. Akinlapa instructed the 10-year-old to undress in front of the camera if she failed to do so her personal information would be posted to the Internet.

It is alleged in court documents that when the 10-year-old undressed and stood in front of the camera, Akinlapa instructed the girl to perform sexually explicit acts. The girl pretended to comply, cut off the communications, and notified her mother who in turn contacted the West Valley City, Utah Police Department. An investigation by the West Valley City Police Department and FBI agents in Salt Lake City, Utah, and in Providence identified an IP address at Akinlapa’s Providence residence as being the source of communications with the 10-year-old Utah girl.

On June 2, 2020, members of the Providence FBI Violent Crimes Against Children Task Force, to include law enforcement officers and agents from the FBI and Providence and Warwick Police Departments, executed a federal court-authorized search of computers and smart phones at Akinlapa’s residence. A brief forensic review of the contents of a smart phone allegedly belonging to Akinlapa was found to contain images of at least two pre-pubescent females that were also allegedly discovered by investigators to be contained in an online account belonging to Akinlapa.

According to information presented to the court, investigators have determined that Akinlapa allegedly communicated with more than a dozen pre-pubescent girls in much the same way it is alleged that he communicated with the 10-year-old Utah girl.

Akinlapa was arrested on June 3, 2020, on a federal criminal complaint charging him with sexual exploitation of a child, possession of visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, coercion and enticement of a minor, and possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph R. Bonavolonta.

A federal criminal complaint is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Milind M. Shah.

United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph R. Bonavolonta thank the United States Marshal Service, Rhode Island State Police and the Cranston, Woonsocket, Pawtucket, and Central Falls for their assistance in the investigation of this matter.

 

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Contact: 
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
Press Release Number: 
20-62
Updated June 8, 2020